Fall Photos: Béla Fleck and Abigail Washburn

On Thursday, October 20, 2016 in Crowell Concert Hall, banjo and vocal duo (and husband and wife) Béla Fleck and Abigail Washburn performed original music as well as Appalachian murder ballads, gospel, chamber music, and blues.

Photos by Sandy Aldieri of Perceptions Photography. Click here to view the entire album on Flickr.

Spring Photos: Wu Man and the Shanghai Quartet – A Night in Ancient and New China

The Shanghai Quartet—violinists Weigang Li and Yi-Wen Jiang, violist Honggang Li, and cellist Nicholas Tzavaras—returned to Wesleyan for their Connecticut debut with pipa (Chinese lute) virtuosa Wu Man to perform “A Night in Ancient and New China,” featuring Ludwig van Beethoven’s String Quartet No. 11, Op. 95; traditional folk songs; and the Connecticut premiere of the new quintet "Red Lantern" by eminent Chinese film composer Zhao Jiping (Raise the Red Lantern, To Live, and Farewell My Concubine) in collaboration with his son Zhao Lin. The concert was held on Friday April 1st in the Crowell Concert Hall. Click here to view the full album on Flickr. Photos by Sandy Aldieri of Perceptions Photography.

Fall Photos: Martin Hayes and Dennis Cahill

Violinist Martin Hayes and guitarist Dennis Cahill performed adventurous interpretations of traditional Irish tunes with irresistible rhythm in the Crowell Concert Hall on Saturday, October 17, 2015.

Click here to view the full album on Flickr. Photos by Sandy Aldieri of Perceptions Photography.

Spring Events Include New England Premiere and Connecticut Debuts

Kota Yamazaki/Fluid hug-hug performs the New England premiere of "OQ" on February 12, 2016 as part of the Performing Arts Series.
Kota Yamazaki/Fluid hug-hug performs the New England premiere of “OQ” on February 12, 2016 as part of the Performing Arts Series.

The Center for the Arts is one of the rare places in the state where you can consistently experience arts from around the world. This semester is no exception. In January and February, the Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery hosts the work of ten contemporary Chinese artists born after the Cultural Revolution who are challenging traditional notions of Chinese identity and inventing new ways to shout out in the global arena. In February, Syrian singer Gaida brings her band to Crowell Concert Hall. At a time when her country is under siege, her soulful voice will remind us of the beauty and power of Syrian music and culture. And playwright Guillermo Calderón will discuss his award-winning works about Chile in the aftermath of the dictatorship.

The CFA is also the home of countless premieres. In April, you’ll be the first to hear Harlem Heiroglyphs, a new album by composer, vibraphonist, and Adjunct Professor of Music Jay Hoggard, both in concert and as the music for Storied Places, directed and choreographed by Dance Department Chair Nicole Stanton with text by Center for African American Studies Professor Lois Brown.

Finally, the Music Department will host a March symposium on the work of the legendary experimental music composer David Tudor and, in April, the Theater Department offers Wes Out-Loud, a site-specific work created by Assistant Professor Marcela Oteíza and her students.

The semester ends on May 7 with Feet to the Fire: Riverfront Encounter, the second annual eco-arts festival featuring world music bands, educational exhibits, and site-specific performance works by area organizations at Middletown’s Harbor Park, located on the bank of the Connecticut River.

I look forward to seeing you soon.

Pamela Tatge
Director, Center for the Arts

2015-16 Season Now On Sale! World, U.S., New England, CT Premieres

This year, we are looking forward to introducing you to artists who are asking important questions about our world today, questioning why things are the way they are, and helping us to envision how they might be.

Dorrance Dance make their Connecticut debut on September 25 and 26 as part of the Performing Arts Series.
Dorrance Dance make their Connecticut debut on September 25 and 26 as part of the Performing Arts Series.

Michelle Dorrance, described by the Chicago Tribune as “edgy, seductive and smart,” brings Dorrance Dance to the CFA Theater September 25 and 26. You’ll have the chance to see tap dancers push the boundaries of what tap dance looks and feels like: her company will dazzle you as they transform the stage into one sonic instrument.

At a time when our country is struggling to find its way in terms of race relations, we’ve invited writer/performer Daniel Beaty to campus for a residency that includes the October 9 performance of Mr. Joy, his highly acclaimed tour de force solo show about a community’s efforts to heal in order to dream again.

Composer, visual artist, and new media innovator R. Luke DuBois takes over the Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery from September 16 through December 13 with his exhibition In Real Time, creating maps, scores, and videos that use real-time data flows and media footage to raise questions of artistic agency, privacy, and fair use. In time for the election season, the CFA has commissioned him to create a new work using research generated by the Wesleyan Media Project.

Dancer/choreographer Eiko Otake returns with a series of intimate performances in unlikely places, including a commissioned work in honor of the 100th-anniversary of Wesleyan’s Van Vleck Observatory.

This year’s Navaratri Festival of Indian music and dance features one of the world’s greatest veena players, Sri Rajhesh Vaidya, on October 10, and Bharatanatyam dancer Alarmél Valli on October 11.

All this shares the fall schedule with performances by faculty and students, including the final class performance by students of Adjunct Professor of Music Abraham Adzenyah, who is retiring after teaching Ghanaian drumming at Wesleyan for the past 45 years. You won’t want to miss that concert on December 4.

As always, we hope you will look to the CFA as a place of enlightenment and enjoyment in the months ahead.

Sincerely,

Pamela Tatge
Director
Center for the Arts

Spring Photos: The Nile Project

The Connecticut premiere of The Nile Project featured a dozen musicians performing collaboratively composed songs drawn from the diverse styles and instruments of the countries along the Nile Basin—including Burundi, Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Sudan, and Uganda—intertwining these traditions into a unified sound that is “joyous and even raucous” (NPR Music) on April 10, 2015 in Crowell Concert Hall. Click here to view the full album on flickr. Images by Sandy Aldieri of Perceptions Photography.

The Nile Project
The Nile Project
The Nile Project
The Nile Project
The Nile Project
The Nile Project
The Nile Project
The Nile Project
The Nile Project
The Nile Project
The Nile Project
The Nile Project

 

Spring Events Include World, New England, and Connecticut Premieres

Wesleyan University is a center for creativity and innovation, and one of the best places for our community to come together to participate in that energy is at the Center for the Arts. Our year-long exploration of Muslim Women’s Voices in performance continues on February 27 with a rare opportunity to see a dance company coming to Middletown from the northernmost tip of Sumatra, Indonesia. The dances of Tari Aceh! feature quick, highly-coordinated movements of hands, heads, and torsos, punctuated by lively body percussion. It’s unlike anything you’ve ever seen before. And on April 17 and 18, you can get a first look at a theatrical work-in-progress by playwright and actress Leila Buck ’99 that was commissioned for Muslim Women’s Voices.
Rachel Harrison, "AA," 2010, wood, bubble wrap, cardboard, acrylic, tennis shirt, A/V cart, DVD player, speakers, projector, extension cord, five hair rollers, pack of gum, ear plugs, American Apparel video, color/sound (2009), 80 x 70 x 70 inches. Courtesy of Greene Naftali Gallery.
Rachel Harrison, “AA,” 2010, wood, bubble wrap, cardboard, acrylic, tennis shirt, A/V cart, DVD player, speakers, projector, extension cord, five hair rollers, pack of gum, ear plugs, American Apparel video, color/sound (2009), 80 x 70 x 70 inches. Courtesy of Greene Naftali Gallery.

In the Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery from January 29 to March 1, Studio Art faculty members Jeffrey Schiff and Sasha Rudensky curate Picture/Thing, an exhibition featuring the work of ten artists working at the intersection of photography and sculpture.

In April and May, we present “The Connecticut Meets the Nile,” a two-part happening that will highlight two great rivers. On April 10, Crowell Concert Hall hosts The Nile Project, an all-star gathering of musicians who live in the countries that border the Nile River and have come together to create music that draws attention to the environmental issues of a historic river that sustains millions of people. Then on May 9, at Middletown’s Harbor Park, Wesleyan and regional partner organizations present Feet to the Fire: Riverfront Encounter, an afternoon of music performances, visual art, and kid’s activities that will engage our community with our own beautiful river.
And throughout the winter and spring, you can put your finger on the pulse of what’s inspiring our newest artists by visiting the Senior Thesis Exhibitions in Zilkha Gallery, or by attending thesis performances by music, dance, and theater students performed throughout the CFA.
It’s all here for you. We hope you’ll join us.
Pamela Tatge
Director, Center for the Arts

Fall Photos: Riffat Sultana and Party

The New England debut of Riffat Sultana and Party took place on November 7, 2014, at Crowell Concert Hall. Images by Sandy Aldieri of Perceptions Photography. Click here to view the full album on flickr.

“Creative Stages” to Premiere on CPTV on Fri. Nov. 28 at 8pm

creativestages_eventConnecticut Public Television (CPTV) premieres the original documentary Creative Stages, hosted by Ed Wierzbicki, on Friday, November 28, 2014 at 8pm. This half-hour special is devoted to the arts, as Mr. Wierzbicki takes viewers “inside the creative process” while interviewing Connecticut artists and exploring local arts organizations, including Wesleyan University’s Center for the Arts.

Hear from Pamela Tatge, Director of the Center for the Arts, as well as from visiting artists including Margaret Jenkins (Artistic Director of San Francisco’s Margaret Jenkins Dance Company), Anna Snow, Kerry Andrew, and Sarah Dacey of London’s Juice Vocal Ensemble, and Juliana Romano ’04 (featured in the exhibition The Alumni Show II in the Ezra and Cecila Zilkha Gallery), about the importance of this creative space to Wesleyan University and its students, as well as to the art world at large. The segment also includes footage of Liz Lerman Dance Exchange’s Ferocious Beauty: Genome, the Wesleyan Theater Department production of The Seagull, and a co-taught course by Professor of History and East Asian Studies William Johnston and Visiting Artist in Dance and the College of East Asian Studies Eiko Otake.

The program will also feature Javier Colon, the Yale University Art Gallery and artist Red Grooms, Waterbury’s Palace Theater and the Waterbury Arts Magnet School, and the Haven String Quartet at New Haven’s Lyric Hall.